Martin Shkreli ‘victimized’ BigLaw partner, defense lawyer asserts in opening arguments

Legal Ethics

Martin Shkreli/

A lawyer for Evan Greebel told jurors on Friday that the former BigLaw partner was “victimized” by convicted ex-drug company CEO Martin Shkreli and committed no crime.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kessler portrayed Greebel as “Martin Shkreli’s right-hand man” in opening arguments, while defense lawyer Reed Brodsky said Shkreli had duped Greebel, report (sub. req.), Bloomberg Big Law Business, Reuters and Courthouse News Service.

Greebel is accused of advising Shkreli how to pay off investors who lost money in his hedge funds with assets from drug company Retrophin. Kessler argued Greebel used fraudulent settlements and consulting agreements to transfer the money. He also alleged that Greebel and Shkreli plotted to control trading of certain Retrophin shares.

Greebel is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Greebel was an income partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman at the time of the alleged misconduct. Kessler said Greebel wanted to please Shkreli to make fees for his firm, and his pay increased from $300,000 to more than $900,000 during the time in question. Brodsky countered that because Greebel was not an equity partner, fees paid by Shkreli did not go into Greebel’s pockets.

Brodsky said the settlement agreements were disclosed in public filings and the consulting agreements were with “real consultants.”

Brodsky and another defense lawyer, Randy Mastro, are lawyers with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Brodsky’s opening statement lasted more than 90 minutes, according to Courthouse News Service. The story describes his opening argument as “markedly more animated” than that of the prosecutor. Brodsky displayed slides that had the words “not guilty” and “Shkreli lied,” and used a green laser pointer on a chart to attack the prosecutors’ claims.

Shrkeli was convicted on three of eight charges in August. The counts related to lying to hedge fund investors and scheming to control shares of Retrophin.

Story corrected at 3:40 p.m. to correctly state that Greebel was not an equity partner.

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